FIELD DAY WEEKEND: Perfect- rainy, cloudy, and cold for Field
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Hamfests for Beginners
Every new ham is soon introduced to a unique phenomenon called the “Hamfest”.
This is short for “Amateur Radio Festival” and should be called an
Amfest but you will soon see that we do all kinds of silly things
starting with calling our hobby “ham radio” and ourselves “hams”.
To digress for a moment: Many people have asserted that the advent
of the use of the term “ham radio” is unknown; cloaked in mists of
time; or that it refers to the sending technique of old-time CW
operators. I think I know why it was adopted. I think it was adopted
to keep really cool people from crowding the airwaves and annoying
radio operators who like to have nice conversations. You know. Sort
of like contesters. By adopting just about the most unflattering
name imaginable we have limited ourselves to about 800,000 hams,
most of whom are inactive except on contest weekends when they are
all active and tuning up on my net frequency. I mean, when was the
last time you heard a 20 year old stud-muffin football player ask a
cheerleader, “Do you want to come over to my house and hear some
RTTY?” But that is for another time. We know we are cool. Who needs
a drop dead gorgeous cheerleader? (AKA YL at 36 over 59) Well, for
one, I d….ahem…
The idea behind the hamfest comes from ‘back in the day’ when people
not only operated amateur radio stations; they also built the radios
they used. They got together to sell and trade parts. And even with
store bought radios, there was a time when a young “novice” radio
operator could not really use the same radio that a general class or
higher amateur could use. So there was a great market for used
equipment and the need for a place to sell it. Remember this was
before the internet. Or airmail not to put too fine a point on it.
Hence Hamfests. And they continue to this day. You will soon learn
that the average experienced ham radio operator changes radios every
37 days unless he has Collins gear in which case he only sells it to
fund his retirement to Hawaii or a new airplane. (You will see
Collins gear at hamfests but it is not really for sale. The guy is
just showing off. He knows that nobody in his/her right mind would
carry that kind of cash to a parking lot in the dead of night.)
And while we are on the subject let me clarify what I mean by ‘dead
of night’. All hamfests start at 2 AM or some other ridiculous hour
of the morning. Why? Because geezers can’t sleep? I don’t know. All
I know is that if you are not the first person there you will not
get the bargains. A word of caution. Before you look for bargains
you will want to use the porta-potty. There will only be one because
the club sponsoring the hamfest is too chea…that is to say, has not
been assiduous in preparing for mostly older men stuffed with
coffee, doughnuts and diuretics.
As you become more experienced you will come to understand that
smart ‘festers’, as we sometimes call ourselves, have to buy a lot
of stuff that we do not need for what may at first seem a doubtful
purpose. We need stock to sell at the next hamfest. Once you
understand why we need this it is not so doubtful at all. In getting
this stuff we are preparing to be vendors at the next hamfest and
thereby allowed to come in early! It does not matter if we sell any
of it because getting in early is the whole point. This way we have
time to buy all of the bargains before mere attendees are allowed
inside the wire. I am not making this up. A few years ago I arrived
at a hamfest, before sunup, to setup my stuff and a guy opened the
hatch of my car and climbed in the back. Headlight and all! I
figured it was too early in the morning for a carjacking and most
carjackers do not wear headlamps and name tags but I was still
startled until he asked me how much the gold D-104 was. I told him
it was not gold it was rust….that is to say had the warm patina of
vintage equipment and that the price tag was still on it from the
last hamfest. I also mentioned to him that he needed new batteries
for his headlamp which, as luck would have it, one of the commercial
vendors was sure to have; right next to the flashing LED lights, tow
bars, cords, cables and sirens for the ECOM folks.)
As you arrive at your first hamfest you will be purchasing your
ticket for admission. This money will be used by the sponsoring
radio club to support its repeater fund. (A repeater is a radio you
put on top of a mountain and then bitch about maintaining because it
is on top of a freaking mountain. And who wants to go up there and
work on it and nobody uses it anyway except for the Tuesday night 2
meter net and most importantly it is not broken and whose bright
idea was it to replace it anyway? Just because there is $76,112.00
in the repeater fund is no good reason to climb a mountain. I mean
really? Sorry. I got off on a tangent. You will also buy $20.00
worth of $1.00 raffle tickets. The grand prize will be a two meter
radio. The second prize will be a two meter HT. There are a variety
of additional prizes which will range from a satellite book that the
same poor guy tries to sell at every hamfest to a PL-259 with
practically no wear at all. The important thing is that calling the
ticket numbers for all of these prizes keeps the president of the
club busy annoying you and me all morning. “And now everyone, check
your tickets. We have a really nice, practically new, 6L6GC tube for
the next lucky winner”.
That dealt with you are in. You will want to walk fast. You are
looking for gems. It may seem at first that everyone there is
selling used record albums, computer speakers and defunct computer
games. They are. If this article serves one purpose alone it is to
tell the amateur radio community once and for all that nobody wants
to buy your used computer speakers or your wife’s old hair dryer.
And oh by the way, labeling it a forced-air thermal circuit board
dryer is fooling no one. It is a used hair dryer. Frankly, most
tables look like a robot exploded in a Radio Shack store. But be not
One thing you will quickly notice might even be a money-making
opportunity for you. At the next hamfest you could make a fortune
selling dust cloths and pledge-by-the-dose. A guy who once tried to
shave his cat lest a cat hair gets caught in his antique straight
key has somehow contrived to bring a Variac so covered in dust it
looks like the hatch on a tank. (A Variac is a device used to bring
old equipment “up to power” and though you will eventually buy one
you will never use it. Never fear though, it is a great thing to
sell at a hamfest.) So there is Mr. Variac owner, carting this stuff
halfway across the state after having spent all night on EBay
fanaticizing about how much it is worth but who did not have a
moment to spare for hitting it with a can of air? I mean really
Scarface, if you had not shaved that cat she would have dusted it
So Mr. New Ham, you are there looking for three things; your fist HF
rig, a power supply and an antenna. Oh yea. And the coolest looking
microphone you can find. Four things. Looking to your right you see
it. A great looking TS-930s. Now there is a nice first rig. Behind
the table is a guy with a hat and a tag telling you his call sign
and that his name is Bob. So up you go and ask how much the rig
costs. Out comes a piece of paper with eBay on it showing the
highest price ever paid for a TS-930S, probably by a snowbound drunk
on a lonely Saturday night. Bob says, “Well, they are going on eBay
for $1100.00 but I can let you have it for $700”. Of course Bob is
temporarily deranged so you resolve to come back near the end of the
hamfest when Bob is more concerned about taking “that giant electric
thing” as his wife calls it back her laundry room than he is in
beating the average on the eBay street. You buy a used coax jumper
for $2.00 and move on.
Wait! Was that your number? It was. You won! A collectable 1946 call
book remarkable because it has all of the current officers of the
ARRL in it. Way to go. Beginners luck. You take it and your piece of
coax to the car.
A great thing to buy at hamfests is an antenna and there are a bunch
of them here. Buying an antenna is an act of faith. There is never
an instruction book and every single one of them “worked when I took
it down”. I guess you just have to go with the old adage, “any piece
of aluminum is better than a hank of wire”. With the benefit of a
drill and the local hardware store you can always make it look like
a beam. (Beware of the guy who calls it a Yagi Uda antenna because
he is a pompous a...that is to say showing off and the fact that he
tells you it is missing a minor part called the “driven element -
which you can get anywhere” should raise a red flag.) So always buy
vertical antennas at hamfests. Two reasons. They are a real “value”
and most importantly, they fit in the car.
Don’t forget the coax! I can think of no reason why you should not
buy used coax at a hamfest. After all, that guy told you, “it worked
fine when I replaced it”. You know that 800 watt amplifier you just
bought? Not because it was on your list but who doesn’t want to go
QRO? Remember how the guy selling it was honest enough to tell you
that though, as a newbie, you could always “try” 100 watts for a
while particularly if you mount that dipole at 200 feet, if you want
to take advantage of all of the db’s of gain the amp is going to
give, you need a great antenna and that means….coax. I’m sure that
the old coax can easily handle 800 watts. What could possibly go
wrong? Another trip to the car with your amp and 240’ of RG8 in
“convenient 26 foot lengths”.
There is a FT-450 over there! That ought to drive my new-used
amplifier, right? And there is a nice XYL sitting there smiling at
you. Up you go and ask what it costs. She sweetly smiles and says
that she does not know but that her husband has just gone to the
porta-potty and he should be back in about an hour if the last two
times he went are any indication. Sigh.
They just announced that the VE session is about to begin. Nobody
They announced that some guy was checking QSL cards. Nobody moved.
They announce that the Ecom presentation is about to begin. Thirty
six armed people in camouflage move.
You walk by the ARRL booth and sign up because they are giving out
band charts and you will get a nametag with your call sign on it in
Moving on. Back by Bob’s table and the 930 is still there. It is
almost closing time and you are encouraged to see that he has used
his eBay printout as a coaster so you hit him with the line you have
heard others use all day. “Bob. I wouldn’t blame you if you said no,
but I bought this amplifier, this coax and these four microphones,
and I only have $380.00 left. Can you let it go for that? He says
yes, he can let you have it and offers to carry it to your car for
you. He throws in a coax switch, something called a “low pass
filter” which you will find out doesn’t really do anything but looks
really cool and the 6L6GC tube Bob just won.
And there you have it. You have finished your first hamfest! You
have a new radio, an amplifier, 4 microphones, some coax, a switch,
a vertical antenna, a low pass filter, a highly collectable book, a
band chart, the promise of an official name tag and a 6L6GC to start
your tube collection. You are on the air! You will be home by 8 AM!
On the way out you snag a Variac. The guy cut the price in half and
threw in a nice pair of computer speakers.
Copyright Rick McCallum
Amateur radios crackle to life
The Truro Daily reports Bruce Harvey VE1II was
just 15 or 16 when he heard a surprising sound on the radio he
received for Christmas
It was the voice of an old man who lived on his street. Later,
Harvey’s father took him to see his neighbour’s amateur radio set –
and from then on he was hooked.
Decades later, Harvey is overseeing the Truro Amateur Radio Club as
it partakes in the American Radio Relay League/Radio Amateurs of
Canada competition being held across the continent on Saturday and
The ARRL/RAC competition will judge operators according to how many
other clubs they can talk to, using either voice messages or Morse
code over 24 hours. Clubs will also be graded on how many watts
their radio transmitters use.
The TARC will be competing against clubs in Canada, the United
States and for the first time, others in Mexico and some Caribbean
The TARC uses high, very high and ultra-high frequency radios for
communicating with other operators in Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada
and across North America. TARC is licensed by Industry Canada and
the club owns the equipment it uses.
During disasters, amateur radio operators offer steady
communications when normal telephone and other infrastructure is
In more normal times, amateur radio operators can also beam messages
up to relay satellites in orbit when talking to clubs across the
world. One club in Prince Edward Island even talked with astronauts
on the International Space Station, but the TARC has not yet
Read the full story at
Amateur Radio Newsline Report
2121 for Friday, June 22, 2018....rehash of last weeks news
MAKING THE ROUNDS FOR DUCIE ISLAND
NEIL/ANCHOR: We begin this week with an update on the Ducie Island
DXpedition which sets off in late October. Excitement is building -
and progress is too. For that update we turn to Jason Daniels
JASON: The Ducie Island DXpedition team continues to gather momentum
toward its operations as VP6D on October 20th through November 3rd.
The newest member of the pilot team is 15-year-old Mason Matrazzo
KM4SII, who made his debut DXPedition last year at age 14 operating
from Iceland. He is heading to Curacao next month as PJ2/KM4SII. The
DXpedition team has been making the rounds, attending at Dayton
Hamvention and the International DX Convention in Visalia (Viz-AIL-yah)
California in the U.S. and Friedrichshafen (FREED RICK'S Harfen) in
Germany to talk up the trip and meet with corporate sponsors.
They also continue with their fundraising to help defray personal
expenses of the team members themselves. For more information about
this much-awaited South Pacific DXpedition or to help support it
FIELD DAY: SMALL VOICES, BIG DREAMS
NEIL/ANCHOR: Remember your first Field Day? Whether it was long ago
- or just last year - one group of hams in California is hoping
you'll make this year's Field Day memorable for some young
first-timers. Don Wilbanks AE5DW tells us more.
DON: Field Day has been in everyone's sights for quite some time now
-- but for one group of youngsters in California, it marks their
long-awaited first Field Day and a first opportunity to operate on
HF. Members of Scout Troop 44 and Cub Scout Pack 458 are operating
side by side with the San Mateo Amateur Radio Club using the club
call sign W6UQ. In addition they will be running their own
small-scale Field Day operation as KZ6BSA. Donn Lovell K8DLL, whose
son 14-year-old Connor K7CBL, will be among those radio Scouts, said
that the youngsters will have their own miniature Field Day with
simplex contacts on 2 meters and 70 cm. He also said they will get
some practice air time, just for fun, using FRS/GMRS radios and
later, repeaters. Donn told Newsline the Scouts' hope that even with
all the QRN and pileups that are sure be happening, hams will be
listening for those squeaky little voices out there calling "CQ
For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Don Wilbanks AE5DW.
FINAL PREPARATION FOR 'WORLD CUP RADIO' AT WRTC
NEIL/ANCHOR: Calling all sports fans! Er....we mean radio contesting
fans. If you're following the final weeks until the World Radiosport
Team Championship, our good sport Ed Durrant DD5LP is here to help
you make sense of it.
ED: They're all preparing, they’re all training, now they're all
From all parts of the world, the contestants for WRTC 2018 in
Germany are getting ready to come to Wittenberg for the Amateur
Radio World Cup!
It's been a hard-fought effort over the last few years to qualify by
being at the top of major contest tables but now it's less than 4
weeks until they can "prove their metal" competing against the best
in the world on a level playing field.
Amateur radio again shows no respect for politics with two-person
teams not only from single countries but across countries who were
at one time enemies. Russians working alongside Americans, parts of
the old Yugoslavia working together on the radio, old feelings lost
in the magic of radio competition.
There are young and old and some in between. From New Zealand there
is a father-and-daughter team, there's three youth teams including
one with a U.S. and a Chilean ham, one with a Ukrainian and Romanian
ham and one with a Hungarian and a German ham. Of course, there are
the well-known "old hands" taking part as well.
Unfortunately, this time no contestants qualified from the UK or
Australia. Perhaps they'll have to make do with winning the Soccer
World Cup final which takes place on the same day as the WRTC!
For a full list of contestants and their biographies go to WRTC2018
(dot) DE and click on "competition" followed by "participants."
One thing is for sure, no matter who wins on July 15th, all
competitors, helpers and visitors are looking forward to having a
great time together, no matter what else is happening in the world!
STOP PRESS - this just in: Using two 300 Kilowatt transmitters from
Europe Radio DARC will broadcast just before the start of the
competition, a WRTC special program across Europe on 6,070 kHz and
to North America on 13,860 kHz on Saturday the 14th at 1100 UTC for
SILENT KEY: KEYER-CHIP PIONEER JACK CURTIS K6KU
NEIL/ANCHOR: CW enthusiasts are no stranger to the name Jack Curtis
or his eponymous Curtis Morse Keyer Chip. The man who gave hams a
new way to key Morse Code has become a Silent Key. Here's Andy
Morrison K9AWM with more.
ANDY: The radio amateur who revolutionized CW keyers with the use of
an IC chip has become a Silent Key. Jack Curtis K6KU - formerly
W3NSJ - was the father of the Curtis Morse Keyer chip, reshaping the
way keying could be done with the use of memory. His first chip,
known as the 8043, was released in 1973 followed by a series of
others, ending with a 20-pin chip in 1986. The 20-pin chip
incorporated A or B iambic modes and output for a speed meter.
His chips found their way from commercial keyers into commercial
amateur rigs and were popular in homebrew projects as well. The
Pennsylvania native, an electrical engineer, worked for Sperry Rand
and later Corning Glass, after serving in the Navy. His side
business, Curtis Electro Devices, was founded to market his Morse
Code iambic keyer and later provided memory chips for the emerging
cellular industry. The company closed in 2000.
DISASTER DRILL, BUT WHERE ARE ALL THE HAMS?
NEIL/ANCHOR: What if someone held a disaster drill and nobody came?
Well it didn't happen that way exactly in India recently, but the
turnout among amateurs turned out to be a challenge. Here's Jeremy
Boot G4NJH with details.
JEREMY: A mock disaster drill held in Uttar Pradesh, India by the
National Disaster Management Authority turned out to have one
challenge that was real: finding amateur radio operators. The
exercise in Lucknow focused on the state's 23 flood-prone districts.
It relied on the readiness of of the state police, along with the
National Disaster Response Force. On the website of the Amateur
Radio Club of Lucknow, Pandit VU2DCT wrote that he turned out to be
the sole amateur taking part in the exercise. It appears that no
hams reside in any of the districts where the drill was scheduled.
Pandit, who is secretary of the ham radio club, wrote that he was
able to provide his fellow participants with an oral presentation on
amateur radio. He posted a hopeful observation too that most of the
dignitaries present at the day's exercise showed an interest in what
ham radio can do.
NEW QUESTION POOL FOR TECHNICIAN CLASS EXAM
NEIL/ANCHOR: In the U.S., the question pool is changing for the
Technician Class license exam as of July 1st. Every three years the
questions are changed, modified, and brought up to date by the
National Conference of Volunteer Exam Coordinators. So as of July 1,
you can consider all the old license test preparation materials like
manuals, online practice tests, Power Point presentations and such
to be outdated. Approximately 60 of the Technician license questions
were replaced. Most of the questions focus on the same concepts but
wording changes will bring the material up to date. If you are part
of a Volunteer Exam team, you must use the new exams starting on
July 1st. So VEs, be sure to change out those tests. And if you’re
studying with old books, be aware that some of those questions will
change while the topics, for the most part, won’t. If you’ve been
studying with the old books, June 30 is your last chance to take the
test before the big change.
GET YOUR FEET WET WITH 'BEACHES ON THE AIR'
NEIL/ANCHOR: Now here's an awards program that will have you wishing
for an endless summer. Mike Askins KE5CXP is our man on the beach
for this story.
MIKE: While some people bring suntan lotion and a surfboard - or
maybe just a good book -- to the beach, others wouldn't be seen on
the shore without their rig and an antenna. Because a beach day can
also be a ham radio day, the program known as Beaches on the Air is
encouraging hams to operate portable and qualify for awards as
activators. Chasers - the hams who contact them - can also compete
The idea took root in a conversation in 2013 between Diego EC1CW and
his friend Ernesto EA1LQ, a fellow ham and SOTA activator. Diego
told Newsline that the awards scheme really took off sometime after
December of 2015 when he chose the windy Atlantic coastline of the
Spanish beach at Riazor (ree-ah-Zore) for the first activations.
Beaches on the Air was on the map at last. International users now
call CQ from the shore in Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, Croatia,
Portugal, the UK and elsewhere around the world.
In fact, just a few weeks after Diego's first activations, Vlado,
Z35M, an amateur in Macedonia, requested that the program include
the beaches there. A ham for nearly 35 years, Vlado is a big
proponent of portable operations and a frequent activator. BOTA
covers not only sea-side beaches but also those on inland lakes and
rivers. A full list of the approved sites and the awards that can be
earned is at beachesontheair.com.
So with summer arriving in some parts of the world, be listening as
hams on the beach catch a wave - a radio wave, that is.
IN AUSTRALIA, GETTING KIDS WIRED OVER ELECTRONICS
NEIL/ANCHOR: Some school kids in Australia are getting ready to have
a summer of solder and circuit boards. Robert Broomhead VK3DN has
more on these special summer workshops.
ROBERT: What do crickets, frogs and grasshoppers have to do with ham
radio? Everything, if you ask the organizers of the School Holiday
Electronics Workshops being offered for school kids in July. The
Bendigo Amateur Radio and Electronics Club has organized the
workshops in Castlemaine to help grow the next generation of
engineers and, of course, radio amateurs as well. In sessions geared
to beginners age 7 and older, students will learn the basics of
electrical circuitry and get to build a solar-powered grasshopper of
their own. The workshop for students 10 and older will teach the
basics of soldering. Those students will get a homebrew cricket or
frog. The club is also planning a third workshop for returning
students who already have been through the basics in previous
workshops. For information about fees and schedule, contact the club
via email at secretary at barec dot net dot au (email@example.com)
WORLD OF DX
In the world of DX, you can work Haru JA1XGI operating as H44XG from
Honiara in the Solomon Islands through the 27th of June. He will be
on 40 – 10m mainly on CW, with perhaps some FT8.
Bodo DF8DX is operating from Taiwan from June 24th to the 30th. He
will be using the BW/DF8DX call sign on the HF bands. QSLs go via
his home call. He will upload logs to Logbook of The World.
Be listening for the call sign TM65EU being used by three French
amateurs on the air from three islands off the French coast. They
can be heard on June 22nd and June 23rd. Their QSL manager is F4ELK.
You have a chance to work Antonio, EA5RM, operating as CP1XRM from
Bolivia until July 10th. He is in Bolivia as an NGO volunteer but is
on the air during his free time on 40-10 meters using SSB and the
Digital modes. He may also be on 60 meters. QSL via EA5RM.
KICKER FROM GRAHAM ON WKRP
NEIL/ANCHOR: We end this week with a story about radio waves that
truly know no bounds - not even inside the walls of a high-security
prison. From Australia, here's Graham Kemp VK4BB.
GRAHAM: There's something to be said for the power of radio, even if
in this case it's not amateur radio - and even if, in this case,
it's radio produced inside a remote high-security prison.
The inmates here call their service the West Kimberley Regional
Prison Radio Hour - or WKRP. No, not *that* WKRP, the name of the
radio station in that wildly popular American TV series of some
years ago based in Cincinnati. This is radio programming that gives
details on prison happenings. When it was launched last year it was
envisaged as a bulletin service of sorts for simple updates but now
the program is heard outside the Western Australian prison's prison
walls on community stations. If you've ever had "mic fright" as a
ham, you have something in common with the inmates here who received
expert coaching from Rebekah O'Meara and encouragement from producer
Brad Spring of Derby Aboriginal Media Corporation.
Now the hourlong weekly show is heard through the National
Indigenous Radio Service. The audience isn't a captive one but the
program's announcers are, at least until their time served is over.
Hams can relate, no? There's nothing better than getting the word
out - no matter what walls you may be behind - and knowing others
really hear you.
FRIDAY EDITION: My truck took ill yesterday coming home
from the beach, Chevy Tough. Just 50K miles. Hot indicator on
display, AC shuts off and blower goes on full speed...safety
protection for the motor is automatic...no temperature on coolant
gauge...WTF. Drove it to the shop and hope to get it back today as
Field Day is tomorrow and I need it, a little bump in the road in
the game of life....Bored? make a
meter beam from a tape measure....or maybe an rf
finding robot....I got a Fitbit wrist monitor a few years
ago what told you how many steps per day you walked, a fitness
gadget. You had to wear it on your wrist, charge it every night, and
read the results on your computer after syncing it. So yesterday I
realized I had an app on my phone called "Health", I opened it up
and I find out it measures how many steps, miles, and flight of
stairs I do in day and keeps it in memory. You live and learn,
anyone want a Fitbit cheap?....
The IC-R30 is Icom's latest wideband
handheld receiver. Not only does it receive over a wide (0.1
to 3304.999 MHz) frequency range in AM, FM, WFM, USB, LSB
and CW, but it can also decode digital modes including P25,
NXDN, dPMR, D-STAR and Japanese domestic DCR.
With this much capability going on you could feel that
you could get swamped by the potential number of signals you
could receive. However, the IC-R30 has been designed to make
scanning effortless and intuitive. A 2.3-inch large,
dot-matrix display is incorporated allowing for large
amounts of information to be clearly and logically arranged.
The four-direction keypad provides straight-forward
operation of all functions. The IC-R30 features high-speed
scanning of 200 channels per second as well as various other
The IC-R30 enables you to monitor two different bands
(such as HF & UHF signals) simultaneously via the Dualwatch
Operation. The IC-R30 also allows you to record the
individual audio of two bands received while in the
Dualwatch mode onto a microSD card in WAV format by
utilizing the Dual Band Recording Function.
THURSDAY EDITION: Another gorgeous day on the island, more
work on the boat today. The Honda outboard started right up
yesterday and may see seawater by this weekend....Self driving
automobiles approved in Boston for transit, what could go wrong?....
Two Stage Telegraph and
Modeled loosely after the commercially built 1920’s Aero
One of my antique radio friends built this transmitter some years
back, a very true and authentic reproduction.
I admired it at the time, not sure I ever worked him with it, but
remembered it fondly.
Jon, the builder, kindly entrusted it to me as the caretaker, and
looks like, given the weekend weather, I’ve finally got time to get
it unpacked, tested, fired up, and on the air. Long, cold winter
nights in Maine are ideal for radio.
Even if you’re not an antique radio fan, you’ve just have to love
the time and skill that went into building this rig.
The wood, panel work, winding the coils out of copper tubing, the
straight and true lines of the bus wiring, entirely handmade, it’s a
work of art.
It is crystal controlled, you can see the xtal on the right of the
The upper desk is the RF section, and the lower deck the power
supply and modulator.
Will be paired up with either the National SW-3 or the National
NC-101X I restored last fall.
I’ll post more as I get it on the air and operating!
– Bruce W1UJR
Transmit Field Day Greetings in MFSK64
A 100 kW HF broadcast transmitter in
Nauen, Germany, will send Field Day
greetings to North American radio
amateurs in MFSK64 mode during the
weekly “Giant Jukebox” broadcast of
The Mighty KBC
9,925 kHz, June 24, 0000 – 0200 UTC. The
MFSK64, centered on 1,500 Hz, will begin
at about 0130 UTC. An RSID will be
transmitted just before the transmission
to guide decoding software to the
correct mode and audio frequency.
Move Toward Enhanced Training, Paperless
As part of upgrades to the ARES®
program, ARRL will phase out traditional
hard-copy report forms later this year
in favor of an online system,
a new volunteer management,
communication, and reporting system. The
system, in beta testing since March in
four ARRL sections with large ARES
organizations, will allow ARES members
to log information for ARRL Field
Organization handling but does not
change how ARES serves partner
organizations. ARES training also is due
Hamvention®ARRL Membership Forum in May,
Great Lakes Division Director Dale
Williams, WA8EFK, who chairs the ARRL
Public Service Enhancement Working
Group, discussed dramatic changes
occurring among agencies in the
emergency/disaster response sector and
the transition to ARES Connect.
In his presentation, “ARES Advances into
the 21st Century — a New Program, a New
Mission,” Williams outlined the vision
for an ARES comprised of organized,
trained, qualified, and credentialed
Amateur Radio operators who can provide
public service partners with radio
communication expertise, capability, and
Goals include aligning the ARES
organizational structure with the
National Incident Management System (NIMS)
and Incident Command System (ICS).
Emergency Coordinators (ECs) will
continue to lead local ARES teams during
an incident, with support from District
and Section Emergency Coordinators.
Changes would encompass additional
mandatory training to include ARRL
Emergency Communications courses and the
now-standard FEMA NIMS/ICS courses
IS-100, 200, 700, 800, with IS-300 and
400 for higher levels. Other specialty
training could include SKYWARN and
Training levels attained would
dovetail with three new levels of ARES
participation: Level One would be
comprised of all entering the program
with no training, while progressing
through the ARRL emergency
communications training and the FEMA
Independent Study courses 100, 200, 700,
and 800. Level Two would be attained
upon successful completion of these
courses, and would be considered the
“Standard” level for ARES participants.
Level Three would be attained upon
completion of the advanced FEMA courses
IS 300 and 400, which would qualify
candidates for ARES leadership
Level One participants would be able
to fulfill most ARES duties, with a
target of attaining Level Two in 1 year.
Level Two, the standard participant
level, would permit participant access
to most incident sites and emergency
operations centers (EOCs). Level Three
would convey full access as granted by
the authority having jurisdiction, plus
qualification for ARES leadership.
It’s been proposed that ARRL provide
a basic ARES ID, which would convey
recognition of registration with ARES
nationally and indicate level of
training but convey no guarantee of site
access. The authority having
jurisdiction in an incident could grant
an additional ID/pass for site access.
The ARRL Headquarters staff is
undergoing training in ARES Connect
administration, with group registration
under way and IDs assigned. ARES-related
publications also are being updated,
along with an ARES strategic plan and
introductory announcement. An article on
ARES enhancements — once they have been
approved by the ARRL Board of Directors
— is set to appear in the September 2018
issue of QST. — Thanks to Rick
WEDNESDAY EDITION: Another ringer, beautiful weather....MA
is offering a third gender option on your shiny new drivers license,
isn't that swell.....
Set to Depart for Baker Island, Ducie Island
Preparations on Target
Two major DXpeditions are
on track to make many DXers happy
campers this year. Just ahead is the
KH1/KH7Z Baker Island DXpedition,
which commemorates the 81st anniversary
of aviator Amelia Earhart’s
disappearance on July 2, 1937, near
Baker and Howland islands, as well as
“the commitment and sacrifices” of the
Hui Panalā’au (loosely translates to
“society of colonists”) — young high
school graduates from Hawaii who were
taken to colonize Baker, Howland, and
Jarvis islands from 1935 until 1942, and
who began construction of a runway for
Earhart to land in 1937. The islands
were bombed the day after Pearl Harbor,
killing two, and the colonists were
removed by the US Coast Guard in 1942.
The team’s enthusiasm
level was reported to be high, as the
KH1/KH7Z Baker Island team prepared to
depart Pago Pago, American Samoa, on
June 20 aboard the Nai’a, en
route to Baker Island. The DXpedition is
scheduled to fire up around 0000 UTC on
June 28, with eight
operating positions active
on all open bands. The team will be on
the air around the clock — and on 20
meters continuously — for the following
10 days. The KH1/KH7Z team consists of
“But any plan is only
good until you meet the enemy in the
field of battle,” the Baker Island
DXpedition team said in a news release.
“We plan on listening to our pilots.
Please tell them if we are missing an
opening or opportunity. We can and will
adjust to the propagation.” Baker Island
is the fifth Most-Wanted DXCC entity,
according to Club Log.
As reported, KH1/KH7X
will employ FT8 digital mode to find
openings that might not be obvious and
to serve as a beacon. “When we find an
opening, we will put as many
radios/modes/ops on as we can,” the team
The KH1/KH7X group
helped to develop the
software version that incorporates an
FT8 DXpedition Mode (version 1.9.0). The
DXpedition said using FT8 DXpedition
mode may allow the operators to “expand”
the bands they are able to use at this
point in the solar cycle. The
band plan page
includes a guide to using FT8 DXpedition
Mode. The Dateline DX Association (DDXA)
is sponsoring the DXpedition to Baker
Island. The Pacific Islands Refuges and
Monuments Office of the US Fish and
Wildlife Service granted the DDXA
permission to land and operate on the
VP6D Ducie Island
DXpedition reports that its preparations
remain on schedule for its October 20 –
November 3 operation. The DXpedition has
announced that 15-year-old Mason
Matrazzo, KM4SII, of Clemmons, South
Carolina, will join the VP6D Pilot Team.
In 2017, he operated from Iceland as TF/KM4SII,
and in July 2018, he will operate from
Curacao as PJ2/KM4SII. Mason will work
with North America and Chief Pilot Glenn
owned by Nigel Jolly, K6NRJ, will
transport the 14-member Ducie Island
team to its South Pacific destination in
September, sailing from Mangareva,
French Polynesia. The Perseverance DX
is sponsoring the VP6D DXpedition. Ducie
Island is the 26th Most-Wanted DXCC
entity, according to Club Log.
FM transmissions from Space Station
On June 20 and 21, the
Tanusha satellites will be connected to
an antenna on the ISS Russian Service
Module and transmit voice messages on
437.050 MHz FM with 145.800 MHz FM relay
ARISS-Russia, in collaboration with the
Southwest State University in Kursk,
Russia, are developing a series of
educational CubeSat satellites called
Two Tanusha CubeSats were developed by
students at Southwest State University
and were hand-deployed by cosmonauts
during an August 2017 extravehicular
activity. These two CubeSats are
performing cluster flight experiments
through communications links.
A second set of CubeSats, Tanusha 3 & 4
were launched earlier this year and are
currently on-board ISS. Tanusha 3 & 4
are planned to be hand deployed by
Cosmonauts in August. They will perform
even more comprehensive cluster flight
objectives than Tanusha 1 & 2.
On June 20, Tanusha 3 will be connected
to one of the ARISS Service Module
antennas and will transmit from
0730-1200 UTC on 437.05 MHz. These FM
transmissions will include greetings
from students in several languages,
including Russian, English, Spanish and
On June 21, Tanusha 4 will be connected
to one of the ARISS Service Module
antennas and will transmit from
0730-1200 UTC on the same frequency:
The ARISS-Russia team
plan to also retransmit these signals on
the standard ARISS 2-meter downlink,
145.80 MHz using the JVC Kenwood D700
radio that is still on-board ISS. All
are invited to listen to the CubeSats
from ISS on 437.050 and/or 145.800 MHz
Note: the Doppler
shift for the 437.050 MHz signal will be
FCC Marks 84th
on June 19,
The FCC came
in 1934 as
Act of 1934,
— created in
to the new
and cable in
The FCC is
by the US
as the FCC
— Thanks to
QTH.NET ANNOUNCEMENT - Field Day... Way back. Field day
was a weekend originally set up as a emergency test of basic bare
bones communications from areas not usually used as a home base or
home AC powered radios. In recent years this has changed to who can
use the biggest amps.. towers.. beams.. etc. that would not be able
to be used in a actual emergency situation. And nothing but another
useless contest for "points" that really mean nothing but a brag for
numbers. The ones who actually DO as was intended by battery power..
minimal antennas.. basic reliable radios are the ones who do the
actual reasons for the weekend we hold every year.. And are hard to
hear with all the splatter and interference.
And NO you can't blame it on "techs". Because it's rare for a
person with a tech license to have a huge amp and a tower with a
large beam.. Or a radio costing several thousand dollars. Techs
don't have those type setups. Takes years to acquire. So BKAME the
ones should be..
73 Listing #1388811 - Submitted on 06/18/18 by Callsign KC5BBP
TUESDAY EDITION: Another great day on Cape Ann, sunny and
80. I am going to make an attempt at repairing the gas gauge on the
boat today, boat is going on the mooring this week....
Ed- W1VAK....looks like he is ready to unload on
Use of shortwave radio by
Bloomberg reports that financial market traders are using a
super-charged version of techniques dear to amateur radio operators
On a 58-acre field that grew corn last year, two towers rising about
170 feet support a military-grade antenna shaped like a giant
spider’s web. The array is pointed toward market centers in New
York, London and Frankfurt. A third pole, topped with a single round
microwave dish, is aimed at a data center 16 miles away that powers
one of the world’s largest trading hubs: the futures exchanges run
by CME Group Inc.
But public records point to a probable explanation: Traders appear
to be testing the idea of using shortwave technology to convey data
between the CME facility and key exchanges around the globe -- a few
millionths of a second faster than rivals. That can be the
difference between winning and losing in high-frequency markets,
where the ferocious battle for being first continues to escalate.
The secret project in Maple Park, Illinois, was discovered --
appropriately enough -- by a ham-radio enthusiast, Bob Van
Valzah KE9YQ. It remains shrouded in mystery. Even county
officials and neighbors are unclear about its purpose.
Read the full story at
Assigning Kosovo Z6 call signs
'Unauthorized and Illegal'
ARRL reports Kosovo, which won its battle to become a DXCC entity
earlier this year, appears to have another fight on its hands
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General
Houlin Zhao has determined that the Z6
call sign prefix was never allocated to Kosovo.
The Secretary-General issued his finding in the wake of a March 16
inquiry from Serbia, from which Kosovo declared independence 10
years ago, the last piece of the former Yugoslavia to do so. Serbia
has continued to reject Kosovo’s secession.
“ITU has not allocated call sign series Z6 to any of its member
states,” Houlin Zhou said. “Consequently, the utilization of call
signs series Z6 by any entity without a formal allocation and
consent of the ITU represents an unauthorized and illegal usage of
this international numbering resource.”
The Secretary-General’s statement was reported in ITU Operational
Bulletin No. 1149. He cited Article 19 of the Radio Regulations,
which states that the management of international series of call
signs is an ITU prerogative. “Call sign series can be allocated only
to the administrations of the ITU member states by World
Radiocommunication Conferences or, between conferences, by the ITU
Secretary-General,” asserted Houlin Zhou, who gave no indication
that he would do so.
Kosovo joins a short list of DXCC entities where radio amateurs use
“unofficial” call sign prefixes. The list also includes Western
Sahara (S0) and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (1A).
Earlier this year, in Mission Goodwill Kosovo, the IARU
member-society SHRAK’s headquarters station Z60A mounted a massive
special event operation to celebrate Kosovo’s addition to the DXCC
List, as well as its 10th anniversary of independence.
Read the full ARRL story at
Mike- N1XW with YL test driving a trike...$38K
New England Hams
you might run across 75
Jon....Editor of As The World
HRO CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON
Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big
motor home, electronics software
Neil...Living large traveling
the country with his
Igor....peddles quality Russian
keys, software engineer
cars and radio gear, nice fella...
going, Harley riding kind of
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can
be found at most ham flea market
...Cobra Antenna builder..
Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who
cooks on the side at
of the Hosstrader's original
organizers, 75 meter regular,
Roger....75 meter regular, easy
going guy, loves to split
cordwood and hunt...
Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
Barry- the picture says it all,
he loves food!
Bob....the Mud Duck from the
Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of
Matthew...75 meter regular...our
token liberal Democrat out of VT
meter Regular......residing on
the Cape of Cod, flying planes
and playing radio
Meter Regular....teaches the
future of mankind, it's scary!
of Davis-RF....my best friend
from high school
going ham found at all the ham
Linux....fine amateur radio op
....wealth of experience...
talented ham, loves his
politics, has designed gear for
W1KQ- Jim- Retired
Controller...told quite a few
pilots where to go!
The 3936 master plumber and
Computer Tech of 3936...multi
talented kidney stone passing
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod,
construction company/ice cream
shop, hard working man....
Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience
in all areas, once was a Jacques
Cousteus body guard....
Warren....3910 regular with
Bob, easy going, kind of
like Mr. Rogers until politics
are brought up then watch out...
Bill- Used to work for a bottled
gas company-we think he has been
around nitrous oxide to long .
Graham...one of the good 14313
guys back in the day.
Mort...Air Force man
Low key gent can be found on
many of the 75 meter
Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts
going, computer parts selling,
New England Ham..
Jack....3936 Wheeling and
Dealing......keeping the boys on
regular, wealth of electronic
Mack....DXCC Master, worked them
all!.. 3864 regular for many
Hu....SK at 92... 3864
regular for many years...
Dave....Loves to fly
Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10",
of the 3864 group
Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned
every radio ever built!
Dan....far from easy going cw
and ssb op on 14275/313
Loved ham radio....